Fran Dunphy

Temple’s first 2015 verbal commitment is an important one for head coach Fran Dunphy

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Prior to the 2013-14 season, the Temple Owls had never endured a season of 20 or more losses. Due in large part to a lack of depth Fran Dunphy’s Owls struggled in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference, posting a record of nine wins and a program-worst 22 losses (4-14 American). With losses and the multiple misses on talented local recruits, some fans were becoming a bit antsy when it came to considering the future of the Temple program.

That’s what makes the news that 6-foot-5 wing Trey Lowe, who hails from Ewing, New Jersey, verbally committed to attend Temple on Thursday so important. It represents a much-needed boost for the program on the recruiting trail, and in Lowe the Owls have reeled in a player who will factor into their rotation upon his arrival on campus next fall.

Lowe also considered Saint Joseph’s, SMU and VCU before deciding to commit to Temple. As a junior at Ewing High School he led the team to a 27-5 record and averaged nearly 28 points per game. According to Jeremy Schneider of NJ.com, Lowe averaged just over 32 points per game during the state tournament (six games).

Lowe played his grassroots basketball for the Team Final program, helping to leading that squad to the title at The Eight in Las Vegas during July’s final evaluation period. Temple loses one key contributor on the perimeter following the 2014-15 season but that player is an important one, as Will Cummings averaged 16.8 points and 4.6 assists per game as a junior.

Quenton DeCosey and Clemson transfer Devin Coleman will both be seniors during the 2015-16 season and Josh Brown will be a junior. With this being the case Temple really needed to land a perimeter talent in this class, and in Trey Lowe they’ve added a scorer who could potentially help the Owls immediately.

h/t The Recruit Scoop

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:

VIDEO: Buddy Hield is ‘all money’ on game-winning three vs. No. 24 Texas

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) takes a shot over Oklahoma State forward Chris Oliver during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.

At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes

“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:

“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”

“It’s all money.”

Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.

Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .

Want to talk about coaching luxuries?

Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.